Angela Palladini’s first stint as Veruca Salt on the national touring company “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was as surreal as the candy-making operation of the show’s title. Rehearsals began in November 2019 and the show kicked off on New Years Day 2020 in Miami. Then, in March, the pandemic stopped.
“Like all of our industry, we have been postponed,” Palladini said.
The musical, based on Roald Dahl’s novel about Willy Wonka’s Marvelous Factory, hit the road again in September and will stop at the Center for Performing Arts January 18-23, courtesy of Broadway San Jose.
“It’s been a while to come, and we’re thankful to be back,” Palladini said of the restarted tour, which is scheduled to end in June until another stop occurs beforehand.
“We take it one day at a time,” she adds. “The pandemic has taught me that there are things you can’t plan and we really have to savor the moment.”
Palladini loves playing Veruca Salt, the spoiled child, one of five gold ticket holders visiting Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
“It’s fun playing the bad guy,” she said. “I am not normally chosen for these roles, and it has helped me so much to grow as an actor.”
The musical features songs from the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” including “Pure Imagination”, “The Candy Man” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket”, as well as new tracks from lyricist Scott Wittman and composer Marc Shaiman. While Palladini won’t sing “I Want It Now” – her character’s hymn to greed in the movie – she says she can play “very iconic moments from Veruca.”
Palladini remembers watching “Willy Wonka” with his mother when he was very young and being overwhelmed by certain scenes. She says the story still speaks to her as an adult.
“There is something behind believing that magic does exist,” she adds. “There is beauty in everything … even in the darkest times.”
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will take place January 18-23 at the Center for the Performing Arts, 255 S. Almaden Blvd., San Jose. Tickets cost between $ 38 and $ 103 at broadwaysanjose.com, 800-982-ARTS (2787), or at the San Jose Civic Box Office, 150 W. San Carlos St.